The other day at the salmon rally the chief of the Squamish first nations band addressed the crowd. Well dressed and eloquent he greeted us saying,
"hello and welcome to our territory"
I chuckled at the time, but the idea resonated with me. A nod to our predecessors on this land, whose way of life has been so easily pushed aside by the onslaught of European colonialism and western capitalist ambition.
He spoke of animals as "people" and of the sacred pact between his tribe and the salmon. Those salmon who for so many centuries gave life to the NW coastal indians. He spoke of the balance of nature and respect for that balance saying,
"for us this is not science, it is ancient wisdom, it is a way of life"